Sunday 23. January 2022

We need more European solidarity in the refugee crisis

Initiative of Christians for Europe met in Bonn (Germany)


This call for more solidarity at the European level in the refugee crisis was launched by the Initiative of Christians for Europe (IXE) that gathered for a meeting in Bonn last week end. “We call for a European strategy marked by solidarity which safeguards the right of asylum to all those who are forced to flee from unsustainable life conditions in their homeland," emphasised Jérôme Vignon, Member of IXE and President of the Catholic lay organisation ‘Semaines Sociales de France’. "All our fellow citizens are invited to act and help locally with an open heart and according to their possibilities."  


A further focus of the meeting was the future of climate policy. Again, the importance of European solidarity was emphasised. Dr. Peter Liese, MEP and member of the ZdK, the Central Committee of German Catholics, addressed the meeting by recalling that  "Europe's nation-states face very different challenges. It is our aim to develop a common and ambitious European climate policy." Especially in view of the UN Climate Change Conference in December this year in Paris, the member states are expected to contribute in an active and sustainable way to a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.


The 17 participants from Spain, France, Belgium, Slovakia, Latvia, England, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Luxembourg highlighted the call expressed by Pope Francis in his latest encyclical "Laudato si", "of taking seriously the care for our common home" in their own national context. It’s about living as an example a sustainable lifestyle and at the same time to set a political sign. For instance by joining the Global Catholic Climate Movement or the initiative “Geht doch!” (“Go ahead!”), an ecumenical pilgrimage for climate justice.  


The Initiative Christians for Europe (IXE) is an association of lay organisations and committed Christians from different European countries. General concern of IXE is to incorporate a more vivid awareness of a united Europe in the national debates. The initiative aims at fostering the encounter of Christians in Europe and to promote the Social Doctrine of the Church to be carried forward in order to achieve a better mutual knowledge and understanding of historical and cultural differences.